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Dear Parents / Guardians of Spanish I and French I students:

With the conclusion of our first trimester, we’d like to take moment to review a few important points about our Spanish I / French I classes that we believe will help your child have a more fulfilling rest of the year.

Teacher Assistance:

If a student is experiencing difficulty or confusion he/she should seek help from his/her teacher IMMEDIATELY!  Waiting can make things worse. 

Attendance:

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of daily attendance for this class.  Things that are missed in class are difficult, if not impossible, to repeat.  It is expected that whenever a student is absent from class, he/she make an appointment with his/her teacher to discuss and go over missed material.  Extended absences from class will severely affect your child’s ability to successfully complete Spanish I / French I.

Homework:

Daily homework is given in Spanish I / French I.  Your child should spend 30 - 45 minutes, on average, doing homework and reviewing each night.  Students need to practice new concepts at home, as well as review previously learned material.  Parents / Guardians are encouraged to monitor their child’s progress daily, by reviewing class material with their child.  Recommendations for reviewing and studying Spanish / French include: reviewing past and present homework, looking over previous and current notes and handouts, quizzing with flashcards, completing textbook exercises not previously assigned, working through drill and practice exercises on the internet (go to http://foreignlanguage01.tripod.com/flindex1.htm for a list of helpful practice links); skimming though the Spanish I / French I binder, which should contain corrected daily homework, notes, and handouts. 

Test Preparation:

As you may be aware, on average students take a test or a quiz each week, and at the middle and end of the school year will take a mid-term and final exam. Students should be concerned about these assessments, but excessive worry can lead to fear, frustration, and test anxiety, which can be counter productive.  This is a fine line for advanced students, who are used to success, with very little challenge or difficulty.  You can encourage your child to

·  Prepare for tests / quizzes over a period of days, through regular, habitual study and review.  Real learning occurs through continued use and study that takes place over a period of time. 

·  Don’t wait until the night before a test and then cram.  Cramming can increase anxiety, and it doesn’t allow for internalization and true learning.  Much of the information taken in from cramming is forgotten shortly after the test.

·  Use advance warning times that teachers give for tests to plan ahead, so that he/she isn’t overburdened and anxious by preparing for multiple tests at the same time. 

·  Use study guides provided by the teacher and attend any study sessions the teacher might schedule.

·  Ask the teacher for extra practice options.

·  Read directions carefully and listen closely to any verbal directions the teacher might give during the test/quiz. 

·  Pace himself / herself during the test/quiz, so that he / she is sure to finish in the allotted time frame.   

High School Recommendation:

One goal of Spanish I / French I is to prepare students for future language success in high school.  Spanish II / French II readiness is conveyed to the high school via teacher recommendation.  Recommendations are based on overall grades (with special consideration given to test / quiz scores), homework completion, study skills / habits, participation, and overall performance and conduct.  Downers Grove North expects students in our program to earn a minimum of a C+ average, or higher, in order to continue to level II.  Thus, if your child is having difficulty in any of the above areas, he/she should seek teacher assistance. 

We look forward to your child’s continued success in Spanish I / French I this year.  Though it may be difficult at times, in the long run, foreign language knowledge is a benefit.  Among other things foreign language knowledge improves aptitude in most other areas of study (reading, writing, math, science, other languages), enhances standardized test scores, and helps students be more successful when pursuing higher education and future careers.  We look forward to a fantastic rest of the year.  Your continued support is greatly appreciated.  If you have any questions about your child’s progress, please contact your child’s teacher at 719-5810.

Sincerely,

Charlene Franks & Diane Hoffmeyer

Spanish I / French I Teachers